John Sykes Jr., 89, of Pillar Point, NY, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2022 due to complications from a massive stroke in Samaritan Medical Center.
He was born June 26, 1933 in Watertown, NY, to Ross J. and M. Katheryn Myers Sykes. While attending Dexter High School, he worked on his family farm on Pillar Point as well as several farms in the area.
He married Alice Eleanor Lee on January 15, 1955 and they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2020. In 1956, while working for Ralston Purina Feed Store in Watertown, he was drafted and served in the US Army for three years. After being honorably discharged in 1958, he began his employment at Roe’s Feed Mill in Limerick. In 1962, he found his calling driving snowplow in the winters with his wingman, Bill Bourcy, and mowing roadsides in the summers for the Town of Brownville. After 27 years of keeping the roads of Dexter and Pillar Point clear and beautiful, he retired to play on his tractors. In addition, he appreciated Keith Wager keeping him busy by helping harvest and bale hay and driving the dump trucks. He also enjoyed many mornings at Diane’s Coffee Shop “shooting the breeze” with his numerous diner friends. Over the years, he and Alice traveled and explored quite a few states, taking several cross country road trips. He has always enjoyed collecting model tractors and model farm equipment. He could always count on his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to help add items to his John Deere collection. He will be greatly missed by both family and friends, as well as the deer of Pillar Point, who have very much appreciated the acres and acres of safe haven and food that he allowed for them.
Among his survivors are his three sons and their wives, Mike (Dolly) Sykes, Dan (Virginia) Sykes and Ed (Marie) Sykes; a daughter and son in law, Lisa (Jay) Holladay; his grandchildren, Jonathan (Becky) Sykes, Matthew Sykes, Sarah (Jeremy) Helton, DJ (Meghan) Sykes, Ryan (Jerusha) Sykes, Jessie Sykes, Kelsey (Matt) Barron, Cody (Abby) Sykes, and Kevin Hall; 21 great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren; two sisters, Shirley Marriott and Betty Beutel and a brother, Charles Sykes and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents he is predeceased by his beloved wife Alice, three sisters, Joan Conger, Barbara Humiston, and Sharon Sykes; two brothers, Stanley Sykes, and Grant Sykes and a granddaughter, Joanne "Gert" Thornton.
Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home. It was his wish to be cremated and a graveside service will be held at the Dexter Cemetery with military honors in the spring.
Donations may be made to the Dexter United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be left at www.dexterfuneralhome.com
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